L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Atta-dal scheme: One lakh applicants in city
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 28
The officials involved in preparing the special ration cards for the 'aata-dal' scheme are faced with the challenging job of verifying the credentials and the income limit of the people for whom the scheme is meant. A number of "ineligible people" have also applied under the scheme.

About one lakh people have reportedly applied for the special ration cards for getting subsidised aata and dal in Ludhiana.

The special census for identifying people for providing subsidised 'aata and dal' at the rate of Rs 4 and 20 per kg concluded on April 23 in Ludhiana. The applications are being scrutinised now. After the scrutiny, the people found eligible would be issued 'blue cards'.

Quite a number of applicants are believed to be not following the income criterion that should not exceed Rs 30,000 a year. Although the enumerators conducting the special census could record their observation as whether the person seeking the benefit really deserved it or not, it is believed that those observations were most likely to be overlooked for various, mainly political, pressures.

One enumerator disclosed that a person who was running a small manufacturing unit with about 20 labourers insisted that he should be allowed to apply. In fact he did not want any of his labourers to apply. When the enumerator brought the matter to the notice of the area supervisor, the said person straightway called up a minister, who asked him (the supervisor) to accept his application.

A random survey by The Tribune among the enumerators and supervisors, drawn from almost all state government departments, revealed that there were umpteen cases where the applicants who apparently did not qualify for the special ration card got the ministers’ and politicians’ references. It is learnt that for the same reason the enumerators were provided with the option of recording their own assessment whether family’s income would really be less than Rs 30,000 a year or not. And for this reason only the census was carried out on the spot and at the residence of the applicants.

The officials involved with scrutinising and preparing the ‘blue cards’ revealed that in a number of cases they could note the observations (read objections) by the enumerators about the person applying for the blue card not apparently eligible for the same. However, they maintained that it might be quite difficult to reject so many applications whose number runs into thousands and most of whom have been recommended by ministers, legislators, MPs or senior ruling party leaders.

At the same time the officials are learnt to be under pressure from the government to ensure that the ration cards for the ‘aata-dal’ scheme are prepared at the earliest. Because the government does not want to be on the defensive during the corporation elections where the opposition Congress is making it one of the main issues. In fact the Punjab Youth Congress has already announced statewide agitation programme against the delay in the scheme.

The officials are left with little option. There is no proof of income that is required to be submitted by the person applying for the special ration card. He can file the declaration on the prescribed form that his annual income is less than Rs 30,000. The only thing that is compulsory is that the person must be registered as a voter in the state and must be in possession of the voter identity card.

The officials involved in the special census disclosed that quite a number of people whom they found eligible for the scheme did not possess the voter identity cards although they were living here for quite some time. This was one of the major handicaps for the deserving people.



Atta-dal scheme: Corrections can be made from April 28 to May 7
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 28
The district administration has informed that claims and objections for the inclusion of name or wrong entry in the lists under the atta-dal scheme of the government can be filled from April 28 to May 7 in the office on the SDM concerned.

Deputy Commissioner Sumer Singh Gurjar informed that the survey had been completed in the district and the lists of the identified family units with income less than Rs 30,000 per annum had been displayed in the offices of SDMs, BDPOs and EOs of municipal councils for the information of the general public.

In case the name of any genuine unit with the prescribed income has not been included in the list, the head of the concerned family unit can submit his/her claim in the office of SDM concerned for induction in the lists.

The DC said that if any person notices that there was a wrong entry of a family unit having income more than Rs 30000, then he can file objection with the SDM for the deletion of such entry. He informed that the required forms for the claims and objections were available in the offices of the SDMs and anybody can get these forms.

He further informed that the claims and objections will be disposed of by the SDM from May 7 to May 14 and the final lists would be displayed for the implementation of the scheme.

Gurjar said that in the district out of the total 4.70 lakh family units, appox. 1.40 lakh units have been identified with income below Rs 30000 /pa. He also thanked the people for extending full help in carrying out the required survey in the district.

He said after the finalisation of the draft lists of enlisted households, the Department of Food and Supplies would print sufficient quantity of cards (in the colour scheme and format prescribed by the government) and supply the same to the district administration and new cards would be prepared and distributed among the beneficiaries through block development and panchayat officers/executive officers and enumerators.

He appealed to people to give special attention to the displayed list concerning to their village/mohalla to check their entry, in case the income of the family was less than Rs 30000 per annum.



20 pc in Payal say they are poor
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 28
If the survey conducted by the civil administration to prepare the list of beneficiaries of the cheaper atta-dal scheme is to be believed, more than one-fifth number of families of Payal subdivision fall in the BPL category.

Though the exact figure for the number of individuals living under the poverty line is not known, it would be more as the poorer families in general have more children than those from higher stratum of society.

Sources revealed that as many as 7162 families, which is 21 per cent of the total number of families living in Payal town and villages falling under its jurisdiction, had been identified as beneficiaries of the cheaper atta-dal scheme.

"Though the final list of beneficiaries will be prepared after receiving claims and objections, employees deputed on the survey duty have identified 7162 families as beneficiaries,” disclosed Dr Indu, SDM of Payal.

The draft list would be displayed for public on April 28. She pointed out that 21 per cent of total families in the subdivision were found to be eligible for the facility.

Claiming that the conclusion had been drawn on the basis of information collected by teams constituted according to rules prescribed by the government, Dr Indu claimed that persons submitting wrong information would be liable for constitutional action against them.

“Besides inviting objections and claims we will conduct random inspection to verify facts recorded in forms submitted by the claimants,” claimed the SDM.

Investigations by the Ludhiana Tribune reveal that residents of the area had tried to camouflage facts about their income and property. In some cases members of joint families posed as living separately so that some of them could be included in the list of beneficiaries.

Interestingly, some families which claimed to be living under the poverty line are sending their wards to public schools. In certain cases, the heads of the families concealed information about number of vehicles owned by them.



Fruits, veggies get costly
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 28
Despite a weakened wholesale market, the common man suffers as retail prices of fruits and vegetables are skyrocketing.

From the king of fruits, mango, that is available between Rs 40 to 60 a kg, to the relatively humble banana which is witnessing a steep rise and is currently available for no less than Rs 35 a dozen, most fruits are exorbitantly priced and in the past few weeks have recorded a 15 to 20 per cent hike.

This, despite the fact that wholesalers talk of a weakened market, excessive supply and a reduced demand. The gap in retail and wholesale markets is startling.

In wholesale mandis, the per kilogram rate of mango is around Rs 15, of water melon Rs 10, musk melon Rs 10-15, mausumbi Rs 15 and apple Rs 35.

However, in retail markets like Ghumar Mandi and Sarabha Nagar, fruits are priced at double to triple of the wholesale rates.

"A 5 kg watermelon cost me around Rs 80 yesterday. The rates are so high fruits that have become quite unaffordable. How does one take care of one's health when veggies and fruits too are out of reach," rued Inderjit, a Sarabha Nagar resident.

Wholesalers blame retailers for creating such a situation.

"The fact is that demand of fruits like apples is on an all-time low, while that for mango has not picked up. Supply, on the other side is high. Retailers, however, are making the most of it and are not passing the benefit to the consumer," said Amarbir Singh, general secretary, Punjab State Fruit and Vegetable Commission Agents Association.

According to market experts fruit prices are expected to come down in a week or so. In the case of mango, as the fruit has not ripened well, demand has not picked up in accordance with the supply.

The situation on the demand-supply front is unlikely to change in the coming few weeks as a result of which prices are all set to fall, said traders. Watermelon too, which is currently being imported from Rajasthan, would soon be available in abundance as local supplies would begin, leading to slashing of prices.

This, however, does not really mean good news for common man as the already high vegetable rates are set to increase further, say traders.

In retail, the per kilogram rate of potato was Rs 8-10, onion Rs 10, green peas Rs 25, lemon Rs 30-35, ladyfinger Rs 22-25, squash gourd Rs 35, arbi Rs 25 and cauliflower Rs 10-12.

On account of bad weather supply of vegetables has already suffered. Traders say the scenario is dismal on the supply front in the coming days too and hence rates are expected to increase by 10-15 per cent in a week or so.



Manhole Death Case
MC orders separate inquiry
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 28
The Municipal Corporation has ordered a departmental into the circumstances that led to the death of a 3-year-old girl after falling in an open manhole in Jeewan Nagar.

This inquiry would be conducted separate from the police investigation into the sordid incident. The police has already booked unidentified MC employees for causing death due to negligence.

Municipal Commissioner Vikas Pratap Singh told Ludhiana Tribune that joint commissioner Ashok Bajaj would be holding an inquiry into the circumstances leading to the incident.

He said it was not an MC manhole. "It was a private manhole of a family. But as it existed on MC land, I have ordered an inquiry to fix responsibility of the incident," he said, stressing that the negligent MC employees, officials, if indicted in the inquiry, would be punished.

But while the two separate inquiries would be on, no one has come forward to provide any compensation to the aggrieved family. Neither the Municipal Corporation nor the district administration has announced any interim relief for the victims so far.

Further, no lessons seem to have been learnt from the umpteen number of such incidents which have consumed many lives. Every time a persons dies in an open manhole, the hue and cry forces the authorities to take precautionary steps which are soon forgotten.

The family of 7-year-old boy Madan Bahadur knows what exactly the pain of suffering the loss of a dear one in the killer manholes is. He was drowned in an uncovered manhole in Phase-6 of the Focal Point near Jiwan Singh Nagar chowk in September 2005. Till date, his body has not been traced. No MC employee was brought to book for the carelessness.

Then, a 6-year-old boy died when he fell in an open manhole in Vijay Nagar Industrial area in August, last year. He could not see the hole as water had accumulated on the road due to rain. The boy, Karan, son of a migrant labourer was playing under the rain when he suddenly disappeared under the water. Again, no MC employee paid the price.

The case of Rakesh Kumar, a small-scale industrialist, is another. He suffered paralysis after falling off an open manhole way back in 1998. He is still struggling to know who were the negligent MC employees responsible for the terrible mess in his life.

What happened to these cases?

  • 7-year-old Madan Bahadur was drowned in an uncovered manhole near Jiwan Singh Nagar chowk in September, 2005
  • 6-year-old Karan died when he fell in an open manhole in Vijay Nagar Industrial area in August, 2006
  • Rakesh Kumar, a trader, suffered paralysis after falling in an open manhole in 1998



Police raid
Couple threatens immolation
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 28
An alleged police raid at the house of a middle-aged couple in Chowni Mohalla conducted in the wee hours today for allegedly recovering drugs boomeranged as a major headache for the cops, with the couple alleging that the cops threw all propriety in handling the woman.

The couple, Mana Bhagat, ad hoc sweeper with the local municipal corporation and his wife Asha Rani, were rescued by neighbhours from the alleged group of cops in mufti. The couple reached the mini-secretariat, threatening to immolate themselves before the authorities if no action was taken against the cops, who allegedly tore off clothes of the woman during the raid.

However, a waiting team of police officials whisked them away to the CIA, where this statements were recorded. SP-Detective Gurpreet Singh later told Ludhiana Tribune that DSP Manjit Singh Dhesi would hold an inquiry into the entire episode. He claimed the raiding party members were not cops. " The inquiry has been ordered to identify the persons as well as to find out the truth in the claims of the couple."

The couple, along with activists of a Punjab Human Rights Organisation, said the cops in mufti took away Rs 24,000 from an almirah while ransacking the house. Krishan Dhawan, president of the organisation, said no lady cop was accompanying the police team.

He alleged that the raid was in retaliation to a case filed by the two in the Punjab State Human Rights Commission against some cops. The woman showed mediapersons her torn suit and injuries on her person.

Asha Rani said this early morning, the group of cops barged into their house and asked them where they had stored smack. She said when we resisted, claiming our innocence, they forcibly opened the almirah. "We had taken a loan of Rs 50,000 from a co-operative bank. The amount of Rs 24,000 taken away by the cops was part of it."

The house of the couple remained the hub of activity, with apart from local leaders and mediapersons , sleuths from intelligence agencies also reaching there to inquire about the immolation threat.



Woman seeks police protection
Says has received threats from husband, who has relationship with another woman
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 28
Apprehending danger to her life from her photographer husband who had allegedly started living with another woman of Faridkot after deserting her, a mother of two children has sought protection to her life from the Sidhwan Bet police.

Though the police is yet to initiate action on the complaint, it has assured that necessary action would be taken on the basis of information provided by the complainant from time to time.

Anaaro Bai, daughter of Bakhtawar Singh, alleged that Malkit Singh, son of Jawahar Singh of Sherewal village, her husband, had threatened to eliminate her if she did not agree to his living with another girl of Faridkot town.

According to a complaint lodged at the Sidhwan Bet police station in Ludhiana ( Rural) police district, Annaro had got married to Malkit Singh about nine years ago and they had had two children.

"Though everything went smoothly for a long time, Manlit Singh developed illicit relations with an unmarried girl of Faridkot town. In an effort to support two families, he sold 2 acres and mortgaged our house against Rs 4 lakh recently," complained Annaro Bai to Dharam Pal SHO Sidhwan Bet.

She, along with her eight-year-old daughter and six-year-old son approached the SHO yesterday to seek protection to her life and property.

Annaro told the police that Malkit Singh had been staying away from his house for days together on the pretext of attending elaborate functions. "This time also, when Malkit Singh did not return for many days, I thought he might have gone to attend some elaborate function. It was only after he rang me up to threat to kill me in case I objected to his relation with his new 'wife' that I became conscious and approached your office," Annaro told Dharam Pal, SHO Sidhwan Bet. She demanded protection to her life and property.

Referring to information received from the Sidhwan police, Bhupinder Singh DSP Jagraon claimed that he had directed the officials concerned to make necessary arrangements, but an FIR would be registered only after verifying allegations levelled by the complainant. "As the complainant has not specified charges, we cannot register a case at the moment. However, necessary action will be initiated after verifying charges levelled by her," said Bhupinder Singh. He claimed that he had directed to take prompt action on receiving any information from the complainant.



Symposium stresses on saving girl child
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 28
The Department of Health Education and Family Welfare, Christian Medical College & Hospital, organised a symposium on the theme of “Legal Safeguards and Termination of Female Foetus” here today.

The objective was to re-establish the balance in the male and female sex ratio in Punjab by increasing the efficacy of women-specific legislations.

As per Dr John Pramod, director, CMC, over the past 50 years, various legislations such as the Immoral Traffic Act (1956), Dowry prohibition Act (1961), Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act (1971), Pre-natal Diagnostic Technique (Regulation and prevention of Misuse) Act (1994/2003) and Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (2005) had been enforced to eliminate discrimination based on sex as well as to prevent gender violence and increase penalties for those who inflict it.

These legislations and laws also ensured equal rights for women regardless of their pregnancy or marital status. Termination of female foetus, which was a malaise in society, had in the recent years become possible due to misuse of advancement in health technology.

According to the 2001 Census figures in Punjab, an average number of girls (0-6 years) per 1000 males was 793. The same further declined to 774 in 2003.

According to a latest study on the "Current Status of pre-Birth Elimination of Female in Ludhiana District”, sex ratio in the age group (0-3 years) was 739 females per 1000 males. This had led to alarming decline in the number of girl child in Punjab.

The symposium was inaugurated by Laxmi Kanta Chawla, minister of health and family welfare, Punjab.



Hefty announcement fee upsets blind man
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 28
Though 50-year-old Ravinder Kumar, a resident of Housing Board Colony, is a visually impaired person, he has never been a burden on others. He has been able to raise his two children and wife satisfactorily by making announcements for various shops, exhibitors, private companies etc in the city.

A sudden demand of the announcement fees by the authorities has, however, made him a worrisome person.

Ravinder, who used to make announcements free of cost with the special permission of the district administration till recently, has been asked to shell out Rs 50 daily as the announcement fees if he wanted to continue his job.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Ravinder said he was the only bread-winner in the family. Both his children were studying in a school and he was able to make anywhere between Rs 300-400 daily by making announcements for different brands, shops, exhibitions and sales through loudspeakers. Usually, he worked on all seven days, but at times there was no work for days altogether.

Doing the same job for the past 30 years, Ravinder has never been a burden on his family members. Come what may Ravinder tries to be regular and loyal to his employers.

He said, "It is difficult to survive, especially when you are handicapped and your family depends on you. I am 100 per cent blind. I have been making these announcements (free) with the special permission of the administration and the health department. In 2006, I was asked to pay Rs 5 daily as the announcement fees. I agreed to it since it was nominal. But now they have asked me to pay Rs 50 daily, which makes about Rs 18,000 a year. It is a great amount for me, as I can not do any other part-time work," he said.

It is difficult to survive for a normal man but for disabled, the conditions are worse. Besides routine expenses he has to pay to the autorickshaw driver, his medical bills, children's school and tuition fees etc. "I have represented my case to the present administrative officers and I hope that they will understand my genuine problem and waive off the hefty announcement fee," hoped Ravinder Kumar.



Most chicken produced in unhygienic conditions: Study
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 28
The People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has warned that the conditions under which the poultry and chicken were produced in the country were conducive for the spread of deadly epidemics like bird flu. In a countrywide study released recently, PETA found "sheds containing masses of reeking manure" and showing the conditions under which diseases like bird flu can thrive.

The comprehensive report on the effects of modern chicken and egg production on animal welfare and human health documents the scalding, starvation and mutilation of birds as well as the potential for the spread of disease from chickens to humans.

The report said in 2005, about two billion broiler chickens were slaughtered in India. These birds are crammed by the tens of thousands into dark filthy sheds where the ammonia from the chickens' accumulated waste actually burns their eyes.

According to the study, modern meat chickens are pushed to reach their slaughter weight in just 40 days and the supporting structure of legs, heart and lungs fails to keep pace with the rapidly growing body leading to various health problems. For many birds, leg problems are so severe that they are unable to reach food and water.

During transportation to slaughter which involves long rides in all weather extremes, the birds usually break their bones. The chicken are rapidly and carelessly shackled and hung by their feet from conveyors in mechanised slaughterhouses.

Millions are often dumped into scalding hot defeathering tanks while still conscious.

At small butcher shops, chickens have their throats slit on the floor or the butcher's block in unhygienic conditions while other birds watch.

The study found that the life for egg-laying hens is equally miserable. Millions spend their entire lives confined to tiny "battery" cages in huge factory warehouses which contain as many as 1500 to 2000 cages, each holding six or seven birds where they are packed together so tightly that they cannot even stretch a wing.

Nine-day-old chicks have their sensitive beaks cut off with a searing blade in a process called debeaking and are packed together so tightly that they can't even stretch a wing. Stress and constant rubbing against the wire cages cause hens to lose their feathers, their bodies become covered with bruises, abrasions and boils.

The study found that even antibiotics were routinely fed to healthy livestock and poultry to make them gain weight faster and compensate for unsanitary living conditions. But even with the widespread use of drugs dangerous and often life-threatening pathogens are found in poultry populations, which can sicken and even kill humans every year.

One more ominous health related note addressed in the report is bird flu. In 2006, Indian health officials confirmed the bird flu outbreak among poultry in the Nandurbar district.

The World Health Organisation says that at least 91 persons in seven countries have died from the H5N1 strain of bird flu since 2003.

Animal factories, such as broiler sheds and battery hen warehouses, virtually invite the virus to strike. The deadly virus could spread like wildfire. Bird flu can be caught by humans who handle infected birds and experts fear that the virus will eventually mutate into a form that is transmissible from human to human, setting off a catastrophic worldwide pandemic.



Popularising accurate ‘ardas’ pronunciation
SGPC member launches project
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 28
Terming accuracy of ardas spoken at Sikh religious places as need of hour Harpreet Singh Garcha a member SGPC from Kilaraipur launched a project to get the copies of accurate version of the script printed and displayed at prominent places in all gurdwaras of the area.

The SGPC member called upon social and religious organisations of the area to persuade youths of their respective areas to follow teachings of the Guru Granth sahib so that social evils, including addiction can be uprooted.

While addressing a section of media after inaugurating a centre for printing and designing at Pohir village near here Harpreet Garcha claimed that majority of devotees joining ardas found it difficult to pronounce the ardas accurately as certain concepts were not clear to general public.

"As majority of the devotees attending ardas are not sure about the accuracy of their pronunciation they prefer to keep quite or speak only a part of the ardas," claimed Garcha. He also contributed funds for the project.

Jagdeep Singh, an organiser of the project said a large number of management committees of gurdwaras in the area had shown interest in displaying the printed scripts on prominent places in their respective organisations. "Besides providing screens for display we will supply smaller copies for keeping in hands or carrying home," said Jagdeep Singh. 



Religious sentiments hurt
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 28
The Kotwali police yesterday booked a person of a minority community for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments of Sikhs by obliterating the name of an old gurdwara and taking away a Bir of Guru Granth Sahib in Meena Bazar, here.

Sensing trouble, a heavy police force that was rushed to the area succeeded in keeping the frayed tempers under control.

The devotees later installed a new Guru Granth Sahib after performing the ritual parkash of the new Bir.



Gabria assures fulfilment of promises

Ludhiana, April 28
Minister for jails, tourism and cultural affairs, Hira Singh Gabria, has assured that all the genuine problems of the pensioners of the state government would be discussed at the higher forum and would be settled out at the earliest. He was addressing pensioners at a function organised by Local Bodies Pensioners Association to honour him at Pensioner’s Bhawan here today.

The minister said the demands of the employees and pensioners were under active consideration of the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. Gabria said the services of the pensioners can be utilised in checking assessments and estimates for various development projects, as these former employees had a lot of experience. He said the government would accord priority to implement all the promises made with the people in the manifesto during the recent elections.

He said the officers should extend full cooperation to the government in implementing the programs and polices for the development and welfare of the people. He said that the people of the state had high expectations from the new government and all the promises could be fulfilled only with the cooperation of the officers. — TNS



City Centre Scam
Vigilance Bureau seeks arrest warrants

Ludhiana, April 28
Vigilance Bureau officials today again moved a city court for obtaining arrest warrants against six persons named in the much-talked about City Centre Scam. But the Judicial Magistrate Kuldeep Singh deferred the matter to April 30.

The Vigilance Bureau sought warrants against former local bodies minister Punjab Choudhary Jagjit Singh, Ludhiana Improvement Trust's ex-chairman, Paramjit Singh Sibia, Sanjeev Gupta, general manager(marketing and sales), Sourav Gupta and Sah Nauvi.

Earlier the Bureau had obtained the arrest warrants for today, but the same could not be executed. That's why it moved application seeking arrest warrants. — OC



BJP claims mayor’s post

Ludhiana, April 28
Bhartiya Janata Party leader and the assistant-in-charge of the party for Punjab, R.P. Singh today asserted that the next mayor of Ludhiana will be from the BJP. He however, hastened to add, that the person would belong to the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bhartiya Janata Party alliance itself.

Addressing a press conference, the BJP leader claimed that there was not any disagreement over the sharing of seats with the alliance partner. He said, similar speculations were being made before the assembly elections. He disclosed that there was complete consensus on the seat sharing between the two parties.

He said the party will contest all the five MC elections. However, the main interest of the party mainly appears to be Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar, where the party has great stakes. The elections are also being held for Patiala and Bathinda MC, but the party does not have much stakes there, he added. — TNS



Colourful toys flood market
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, April 28
Colourful rubber toys of different sizes and shapes have crowded the local market. One can see toy sellers in large numbers thronging roadsides in a bid to sell their ware.

Toys like bright green giraffe, sunshine yellow baby pool and many animal toys in bright orange, red and blue colours are available. Earlier, such display of animal toys was visible on highways but now these are being sold in the city as it has caught the attention of Ludhianavis.

Pawan, a vendor, has chosen the busy Maharani Jhansi road to sell the toys. Since, these are very colourful and priced reasonably, people do stop by to have a look. Pawan has a brisk sale.

He says,”I live in Ludhiana and procure my stuff from a local dealer. I am able to make a decent living though I have to work for long hours. The temptation of earning more money for makes me sit till late night."

Pawan is quite scared of the municipal corporation which may ask him to vacate the pavement where he sells the toys. Then, his journey of finding a busy road will again start.



Strong rupee cheers importers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 28
Representatives of the Wire Drawing Federation of Punjab today said strong rupee was acting as a boon for steel producing and consuming industry in the state.

Badish K Jindal, general secretary of the federation, said today, "The steel producing and consuming industry is very pleased due to strengthening of the rupee. This would help domestic industry a lot”.

Jindal said imported scrap is a major raw material for all small steel producing units and as the value of dollar declined by 7 to 8 per cent, rate of imported scrap too has come down. "Steel prices are also reducing as a result," he said.

He said this would discourage export of steel by major public and private steel plants. "These units earlier were exporting basic steel material like HR Coils and wire rods t to other countries instead of supplying the same to domestic steel consuming industry. This had resulted in scarcity of good quality raw material , which had led to increase in steel prices by over 15 cent in the last four months."

With the change in scenario, domestic industry is expecting that it would get adequate supply of raw material, he added. "The import of essential material like zinc, nickel and other chemicals would be cheaper now and even cost of production would come down."



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